Winter is approaching and according to the Cisco Global Networking Trends 2020 report, similar to intent networks (IBN). Cisco conducted an online survey of 505 IT leaders and 1566 network strategists in 13 countries about the current state of their networks, their network aspirations over the next two years, as well as their operational readiness and talent readiness. The study showed that maximizing business value is an IT priority, and 40% of respondents consider it the most important problem. But the view of the top of the mountain is one thing, and climbing it is something else. To maximize business value, IT teams will require better insight into data and the right tools. "That's why IT teams use intentional networks, artificial intelligence and machine learning - because the company requires it," said Scott Harrell, SVP and GM of Cisco Enterprise Networking in a statement. Of course, Cisco is interested in promoting intentional networks. The seller first announced its efforts to IBN in July 2017, and has since implemented these functions throughout its entire portfolio. SDN to IBN However, Cisco findings suggest that IBN will be the next "IT girl" on the web in the coming years - essentially the second phase of SDN. About 41% of respondents say they have at least one SDN instance in at least one of their network domains. SDN gave network operators a way to design, build and operate their networks in a centralized view. But over the past two decades, networks have been subject to increased demand for traffic and control, as both companies and consumers are increasingly relying on network connectivity for sales, customer service, internal communication and document sharing. Simply put: IT operators need visibility of both the network and its data, and Cisco expects IBN to decide where SDN has broken, providing a feedback loop that can indicate what works and what doesn't. The point is that SDN is a natural, solid foundation for the evolution of IT infrastructure, and the additional capabilities of DevOps will give network operators greater control over network operations. IBN is at stake to close the feedback loop and "unlock the potential and intelligence of data provided by the network and infrastructure." At the same time, it ensures in a "predictable and proactive way that your network does what it should. to do and identify problems related to security, operations, applications or, in some cases, business, return to the IT department for corrective action, "explained Prashanth Shenoy, vice president of marketing at Cisco in an interview with SDxCentral. However, only 28% of respondents indicated that they achieved SDN or IBN under the Cisco Digital Network Readiness Model, but 78% expect their networks to go beyond SDN or IBN in the next two years. Similarly, only 4% indicated that their currently implemented networks are based on intentions, and 35% plan to be within two years. "To be honest, we were also very surprised at the discoveries," Shenoy admitted. "First of all, it is [the trust of our customers] and the belief that they can do it. Will they really be able to - we'll look at it in two years' time. Enthusiasm is high, no doubt, but it's too early to know if IBN deserves to be buzzing. Hype or reality? Shenoy attributes this trust to the concept of an open and programmable API-based infrastructure. "If these APIs can reveal data from the network and use it for network analysis, security analysis, application analysis, you can go to the IBN website," he explained. Single-action controllers have been on the market for some time and have simplified the process of exporting data via APIs and allow the administrator to take corrective action. In this light, controllers are ready to ensure assurance, integration, load protection, security and analysis without having to rebuild the entire network. "All you need is to change the data, incorporate telemetry data in your system and have this analytical engine sitting with the controller to analyze the data and throw away your insights," he explained. Survey respondents appear to be self-confident - and perhaps too self-confident - given the current phase of AI and ML maturity and how much they will have to mature. "They still feel confident that they can be given tools that are capable of machine learning or AI today and will help them get there in a year or two," said Shenoy.
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